Monday, May 16, 2022

How To Know How Many Social Security Credits I Have

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What Social Security Services Do We Provide

Social Security Credits: How Many Do You Really Need?

Below, please find a list of some of the services we provide on behalf of the Social Security Administration.

You can receive a proof of income letter free of charge by contacting the Regional Federal Benefits Unit via our online inquiry form.

You may apply for an original or replacement Social Security Card through the Regional Federal Benefits Unit.

U.S. citizens, non-citizens eligible for Social Security Benefits, and non-citizens who have permission to work from the Department of Homeland Security can apply for a Social Security number.

You can request an appointment for this service by contacting the Regional Federal Benefits Unit via our online inquiry form.

Non-Resident Aliens / Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

Several classes of non-resident aliens are required to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number in order to file U.S. taxes. To obtain an ITIN, you must file IRS Form W-7 with the Internal Revenue Service. You may obtain a W-7 form via the Internet

The Social Security Administration has suspended the field office issuance of Social Security Earnings Statement. However, an individual can download and complete the Form SSA-7004, Request for Social Security Statement, then print, sign, and mail it to request a statement. The form SSA-7004 can be printed from the following link: form SSA 7004

Average Indexed Monthly Earnings

To calculate your AIME, the administration takes each year’s income throughout your working life and adjusts it for inflation . It then caps those adjusted incomes at the taxable maximum for Social Security. The agency then takes the 35 highest-earning years and calculates an average monthly income from them. This is your AIME.

For people who worked more than 35 years their lowest-earning years are dropped from the calculation. For people who worked less than 35 years the Social Security Administration calculates a “$0” in place.

How Many Social Security Credits Do You Need

The number of credits you need to be eligible for Social Security depends on the program and your age. For retirement benefits, the required number of credits is simple: You have to have earned 40 credits, equivalent to 10 years of work if you earn the maximum number of credits per year.

Disability benefits involve complex rules. Having 40 credits is always adequate, but the younger you are, the fewer credits you need. Those who are younger than 24 need six credits over the three years prior to the disability, while those between 24 and 31 need to have credits for half the period between age 21 and their current age at the time of the disability. Those who are 31 to 42 need 20 credits, with the number of credits rising by two for every two years older than 42 you are.

For survivors benefits payable to your family if you die, the number of credits you need isn’t as clear. The SSA is somewhat cryptic about the exact number of credits you need, merely saying that “the younger you are, the fewer years you need to work.” Those with 40 credits are definitely eligible, though, and a special rule allows those who’ve worked for a year and a half out of the previous three years to have survivors benefits paid to their children and to a spouse caring for those children.

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Theres A Social Security Spousal Benefit

Marriage brings couples an advantage when it comes to Social Security. Namely, one spouse can take whats called a spousal benefit, worth up to 50% of the other spouses Social Security benefit. Put simply, if your monthly Social Security benefit is worth $2,000 but your spouses own benefit is only worth $500, your spouse can collect a spousal benefit worth $1,000 bringing in $500 more in income per month. Just as the benefit based on your own work history is reduced if you claim it early, the same is true for a spousal benefit. That 50% figure is the maximum amount that only a spouse who is at least full retirement age is eligible for. Taking the spousal benefit early at, say, age 62, reduces the amount to as little as 32.5% of the higher earners benefit. If you take your own benefit early and then later switch to a spousal benefit, your spousal benefit will still be reduced.

Workers Who Retire In Certain Foreign Countries

How Many Work Credits Do I Need To Receive Social Security ...

U.S. citizens who travel toor live inmost foreign countries after they retire usually can receive Social Security benefits. However, if that country is Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, North Korea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, or Uzbekistan, then the government will not send them Social Security payments. Exceptions may be available in all of these countries except Cuba and North Korea. The governments Payments Abroad Screening Tool is an easy way to check if you will be able to continue receiving Social Security benefits while living abroad or if restrictions will apply.

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Certain Government And Railroad Employees

There are some jobs that dont pay into Social Security. Federal government employees hired before 1984 are included in the Civil Service Retirement System , which provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. These workers did not have Social Security taxes deducted from their paychecks and thus are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits.

They may still qualify if they have earned benefits through another job or a spouse. However, in these cases, CSRS pension payments may reduce Social Security payouts. Government workers who are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System , which replaced CSRS, are eligible for Social Security benefits.

Most state and local employees have Social Security protection under a federal Section 218 agreement. However, some of these workersincluding those who work for a public school system, college, or universitywill not receive Social Security benefits if they do not pay Social Security taxes. They generally receive pension benefits from their employers.

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How To Stop Social Security Check Payments

The SSA can not pay benefits for the month of a recipients death. That means if the person died in July, the check received in August must be returned. Find out how to return a check to the SSA.

If the payment is by direct deposit, notify the financial institution as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death. For more about the requirement to return benefits for the month of a beneficiarys death, see the top of page 11 of this SSA publication.

Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when a person getting benefits dies. Visit the SSA’s Survivors Benefits page to learn more.

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Social Security Disability : Work Credits Needed For Benefit Eligibility

Local Social Security offices are offering more in-person appointments and have resumed in-person service for people without an appointment. It is strongly encouraged to continue to go online, call for help, and schedule appointments in advance.

For more information on How to Get Help from Social Security, visit the website:

Link to the Social Security Administration website:


Social Security Administration issues monthly Social Security Disability payments to individuals ages 18 and over who meet the medical criteria for disability and who have earned the required number of work credits in the required period of time. One work credit is earned for each three month period worked in a job covered by Social Security. The required number of credits and the required period of time are dependent on a persons age.

Examples of requirements for different ages:Before age 24 must have 6 credits earned in the 3-year period ending when your disability starts.Ages 24-30 must have credit for working half the time between age 21 and the time you become disabled. For example, if you become disabled at age 27, you would need credit for 3 years of work out of the past 6 years .Ages 31 and older see chart.

Born after 1929 Disabled at AgeNumber of Credits Needed

If You’re Not Sure Why You Received A Payment

How many credits do you need to qualify for the Social Security Benefits?

If you receive a check or direct deposit payment from the Treasury Department and do not know what its for, contact the regional financial center that issued it.

If you received a check, look for the RFCs city and state at the top center. Then contact that RFC to find out which federal agency authorized the payment. It will be one of these:

If you received payment byelectronic funds transfer , or direct deposit, follow the directions under Find Information About a Payment.

Use the Treasury Check Verification System to verify that the check is legitimate and issued by the government.

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What Is Social Security

The Social Security program was established in 1935 to provide retirement income for certain U.S. workers. It was later expanded to cover most of the workforce. Today, it remains Americas pension plan and the financial lifeline that many people use to stay afloat in their old age.

Social Security provides 37% of elderly men and 42% of elderly women with at least 50% of their income. For 12% of elderly men and 15% of elderly women, its at least 90% of their income. There are specific rules for filing or updating your Social Security.

How does Social Security work? Regardless of your age, you really should know. Here are the answers to 10 questions that people most often ask.

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Costs Of Living Adjustment

The COLA is an annual adjustment to your Social Security benefits based on inflation. It changes each year based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Workers and Clerical Workers . For workers who do not retire at their earliest retirement age, it is applied cumulatively to the PIA.

For example, the COLA in 2018 was set at 2%. If the worker from our example above chooses not to retire at 62, his PIA will still be adjusted upward to a resulting PIA of 2,339.40.

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How Were Credits Earned For Years Before 1978

To earn credits for the years before 1978, you must have:

  • Earned at least $50 in wages for employment coveredunder the law in any calendar quarter beginning January 1, April1, July 1, or October 1

  • Earned at least $100 in annual wages paid for agricultural labor for years after 1954 and before 1978 or $50 in wages paidfor agricultural labor in any calendar quarter in 1951 through 1954.

  • Earned at least $400 in annual net earnings from self- employment in taxable years 1951 through 1977 or

  • Earned the maximum taxable wages for that year. For maximum taxable wages, .

  • Working Quarters Effect On Monthly Premiums

    Need a replacement SSA

    Although Medicare requires 40 credits earned for premium-free Part A coverage, people who earned fewer credits may still obtain Medicare Part A, but they must pay a monthly premium.

    The monthly cost for Medicare Part A may change, but in 2021, people who paid Medicare taxes and earned between 30 and 39 quarters pay a monthly Part A premium of $259. Individuals who paid Medicare taxes for less than 30 quarters pay $471 a month.

    To qualify for premium-free Medicare, an individual must also earn a certain amount during the quarters worked.

    Medicare divides yearly earning into quarters to determine how many credits a person has earned.

    The earnings required may change from year to year. In 2021, individuals must earn $1,470 per quarter to be eligible for premium-free Medicare.

    Some people may earn enough in one quarter to qualify for all four credits. In other cases, it might take someone the entire year to make enough to be eligible for all four credits earned.

    Regardless of a persons income amount, they cannot earn more than four credits in 1 year.

    Earning a higher amount does not affect the amount of Medicare benefits a person receives, either. For instance, a person does not get additional Medicare Part A benefits or discounts because they earned more than the minimum 40 quarters.

    Additionally, even when a person qualifies for premium-free Medicare Part A, they must pay a deductible for certain services.

    The numbers of quarters required include:

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    What Is A Social Security Card

    Your Social Security card is an important piece of identification. Youll need one to get a job, collect Social Security, or receive other government benefits.

    When you apply for a Social Security number , the Social Security Administration will assign you a nine-digit number. This is the same number that is printed on the Social Security card that SSA will issue you. If you change your name, you will need to get a corrected card.

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    What Are Social Security Benefits And How To Determine If You Are Eligible

    Before you receive any Social Security benefits, the Social Security Administration will need to determine your eligibility. Remember that Social Security is an insurance system designed to pay you benefits during times of economic hardship. Just as a medical insurance plan representative must review your policy coverage before paying your surgical bill, a Social Security administrator must examine your Social Security record to ensure that you are eligible for the type of benefit for which you have applied. Determining your eligibility will mean finding answers to the following questions:

    • Have your earnings been subject to Social Security taxes?
    • What is your insured status?
    • Have you met the eligibility requirements specific to your benefit claim?
    • Have you filed your benefit claim?

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    Not Enough Credits For Social Security Retirement

    The Social Security Administration’s credit system uses workers’ earnings and work history to determine eligibility for retirement benefits. People born in 1929 or later need 40 Social Security work credits, which are the equivalent of 10 years of employment for which they paid taxes. Those who dont have the required number of credits are not eligible for retirement benefits based on their work record. However, you may still qualify for benefits based on your spouses benefits, even if you were a stay-at-home parent who never worked. You could receive up to half of your spouses retirement benefit amount if your spouse is retired and you are at least 62 years of age.

    How Can I Check My Work Credits Before I Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits

    How Many Work Credits Do I Need To Receive Social Security Benefits?

    Heres a fast, easy way to know if you have enough work credits to qualify for Social Security disability:

    • You worked at least 5 in the last 10 years full-time in jobs where you paid FICA taxes, AND
    • If you stopped working for health reasons, you quit your job less than 60 months ago, AND
    • You didnt already apply for or start receiving early retirement or regular Social Security benefits.

    What if you know you have enough work credits, but havent held a job for more than five years? If youre 31 or older, you need 20 work credits earned within the past decade to qualify for SSD. The SSA will not make any exceptions for disability applicants who cannot pass the recent work requirement test. This includes people who stop working to raise children, care for sick relatives or work jobs without paying FICA taxes.

    Still not sure or cant remember how many credits you currently have? Call 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday during regular business hours to speak with a Social Security agent.

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    How A Lawyer With Our Firm Can Help You Apply For Disability Benefits

    An attorney from our firm can offer assistance as you prepare an application for Social Security disability benefits. We can help you determine whether you have enough work credits for SSDI or should apply for SSI benefits. The law does not require you to work with a lawyer on the application and evaluation process for disability benefits, but having someone guide you can make the process go smoother.

    Every year, thousands of qualifying individuals are denied Social Security Disability benefits because of errors they made on their applications. Many people have to appeal a denial of benefits to get the assistance they need. Our team can help you avoid this costly mistake or represent you during your appeal if you have already received a denial.

    How Do I Earn Social Security Disability Work Credits

    Work credits are based on your total wages and self-employment income for the year. At most, you can earn four work credits per year. The amount of earnings it takes to earn a credit can change from year to year. In 2020, you must earn $5,640 to get four credits for the year. How Can I Check My Social Security Disability Credits?

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    How Credits Are Earned

    Since 1978, when you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn up to a maximum of four credits per year.

    The amount of earnings it takes to earn a credit may change each year. In 2021, you earn one Social Security or Medicare credit for every $1,470 in covered earnings each year. You must earn $5,880 to get the maximum four credits for the year.

    During your lifetime, you might earn more credits than the minimum number you need to be eligible for benefits. These extra credits do not increase your benefit amount. The average of your earnings over your working years, not the total number of credits you earn, determines how much your monthly payment will be when you receive benefits.

    Read our publication, “How You Earn Credits,” for more information.

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